Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Kyle Fiebernitz, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Kyle Fiebernitz

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“Proud father and husband. Quite possibly the biggest fan of The Office you’ll ever meet.”

Hometown: Bancroft, MI

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m 31 and haven’t lived at the same address for more than a year since I turned 16

Undergraduate School and Major: Grand Valley State University – BS Communications

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Navy – Interior Communications Electrician

When you think of Notre Dame, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Mendoza program thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? Two things come to mind: academic excellence and the alumni network. First, I’ve been incredibly impressed with the faculty and staff’s ability to help students, like myself, with non-business backgrounds quickly ascend the learning curve in such a short amount of time. As for the alumni network, before enrolling, you hear about the university’s alumni engagement, but until you’ve connected and bonded with industry-leading alumni, it’s hard to fathom what that means.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the Mendoza MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I was fortunate enough to know early on what my post-MBA career goals were and found it imperative that I had the opportunity to take ownership of my education. I strongly felt that the robust curriculum, coupled with the flexible scheduling at Mendoza, would allow me to develop the skills necessary to succeed. 

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Mendoza? Engagement with the Veteran’s Club so far has been a highlight for me. The club and its mission to exemplify servant-leadership were enormous reasons I chose Notre Dame, and it’s been a pleasure to participate in helping move that mission forward through various community service and fundraising projects. Additionally, the challenges of transitioning from the military to business school are unique, and I’ve experienced first-hand the willingness of my peers to ensure I’m equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to navigate the complexities of life at b-school.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a junior sailor, I volunteered to attend specialized training on a mission-critical helicopter landing system shortly after checking into my first command. Unfortunately, soon after completing the course and just days before our ship was scheduled to qualify for air operations, that piece of equipment failed. This fault stifled me, the senior technician, and civilian technical experts for that particular system. Sensing the pressure, I fully immersed myself in the problem and developed a unique, outside-the-box way of resolving the issue. Understandably, my senior leadership was skeptical, but I ultimately prevailed in guiding them to the same conclusion I had discovered. Without delay to the training schedule, I fixed the issue and quickly learned the value of building trust and confidence up and down the chain of command.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? It was adapting to the time commitment required of an MBA student. After a seven-year hiatus, there was a nervous excitement around re-entering an academic environment. However, I immediately realized there is much more to business school than just classes…but in a good way. I bonded with many great alumni while networking, interacted with many terrific companies while internship recruiting, and made some incredible memories tailgating and attending Notre Dame football games.

Mendoza is known as a purpose-driven MBA program that asks students to “Grow the good in business.” What is your mission and how has Mendoza been helping you realize it?  My mission is to strengthen others and empower them to grow personally and professionally. Mendoza is enabling me to continue that mission outside of the military by helping me reframe my previous experiences to apply them more appropriately in the business world and equipping me with the relevant tools and skills required of a business leader.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Mendoza MBA program? I have a couple. First, don’t hesitate to reach out to current students and learn what makes Mendoza special to them. You’ll gain unique perspectives, strengthen your understanding of why you want to come here, and obtain insight into the type of engagement you’ll unlock as a member of this network. Second, when writing your essays, be authentic and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Your challenges and ability to overcome them have transformed you into who you are today, so embrace that.


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